In his first official interview as a Manchester United player with MUTV, Juan Mata gave us all a little bit of insight into what our club record £37.1 million signing is looking forward to the most at Old Trafford.
Mata admitted that winning the Premier League was his main goal having never achieved it with Chelsea and he also discussed who he was looking forward to playing with, what his best position is and how he was as surprised as anybody that he was able to move to United.
How does it feel to finally be a Manchester United player?
It’s a very happy day for me, meeting my team-mates, the manager, seeing the training ground. It’s a massive club and I feel very proud to be here.
What went through your mind when you heard of United’s interest?
I thought, ‘wow’! This is a team that has won a lot of leagues in the history of the Premier League and English league. It’s amazing knowing that a club like Manchester United is interested in you. It’s a good feeling.
So many great players have come to this club but you are the record signing. Do you relish the pressure that brings?
I know it is a big price but I’m confident that everything is going to be okay. I will try my best as I always have done. The squad and the manager are very good and the fans are unbelievable – we have everything to be successful.
You had a wonderful time at Chelsea and were player of the season in the last two years – are you surprised to be here in a way because it’s very rare for big clubs to sell players to their rivals?
To be honest it is a bit surprising. But I have to say I’m really grateful to Chelsea, to the owner, everyone who works at the club and the fans – they voted me the best player in the last two seasons and I will always be grateful. They have been amazing with me. The last six months were difficult as I didn’t play as much as I wanted to. I understand it’s a team sport so I respected that situation. But the chance to come to Manchester United was a great moment for me to carry on with my career and join another massive club.
David De Gea was waiting for you when you arrived – what has he told you about life here?
He has been texting me in the last few days saying, ‘when are coming, when are you landing?!’ ‘Are you coming by helicopter or by bicycle?!’ I am here now and I am very happy to be here, particularly with David
because he is a very good friend, an amazing goalkeeper and a top guy. He was important for me in terms of coming here.
Obviously for a player like me who is trying to score goals, assist goals and be a creative player it’s going to be amazing to play with those kinds of players. Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Adnan, Valencia, Chicharito, Welbeck… they are all top-level players and I will try to do the best for the team.
What do you think is your best position?
First of all playing! [Laughs] I love to play. I think I can play in the three positions behind the striker. I played on the left when I arrived at Chelsea, this season I have played on the right and last season, which was probably the best season of my career, I played behind the striker. But it doesn’t matter as long as I play.
You’ve already won an incredible amount of trophies in your career, but what do you want to achieve here?
I would like to win the Premier League. It’s a very special trophy for every player that plays in this country. At this club I believe you can achieve anything. I will try my best. I am still young and have been lucky to win some trophies, but I want to win a lot more.
The manager has said he is keen for you to be involved in the Cardiff game on Tuesday – what will it mean to you to run out at Old Trafford as a United player?
Old Trafford is an unbelievable stadium to play football at. I have been here two or three times but always with rivals and now I have the chance to play there as my home. It’s going to be different but it will be great because I know how incredible the fans are there.